Where in the hell am I?

June 1, 2011

Fannin Battle Ground Day 6

Filed under: archaeology — Tags: , , , , , — John @ 9:21 pm

Block 5 is finished. A total of 161 hits were looked at, of which 16 had items collected. Two were actual musket balls, one was a possible button, and the remaining 13 are iron pieces that may be battle-related. So, 90% was modern trash or false readings.
Finishing that took almost all day, which was great because we were afraid it would take a lot longer (cue Booker T and the MGs or The Clash “Time is Tight”).
Still working on hits in the “hot spot”, although I think we’re down to 15 or so left. The dirt is ridiculously hard and dry right now, so that trying to dig 8-12 inches to find a musket ball is a serious endeavor! There are many sore arms and wrists right now, and I bruised my palm (near my index finger). At this point, the results are redundant, but this area is also slated for unknown renovation impacts.
Began the survey inside the memorial circle, as the outer half is not built up. This was done by another volunteer, who is actually one of the high-ups (if not the top guy) for cultural resources at Texas Parks and Wildlife, and an experienced detectorist. Another nice guy, who taught us a few tricks. We recovered another musket ball from one of his hits as well.
At this point, we’re still leaving the eastern block (#4) alone, because of the perception that it’s almost all modern trash, based on the concentrations near fences and picnic benches. The only concern there is that, apparently, that area wasn’t really surveyed back in 2001.
Days are long and hot, and I’m spending a lot of time after the field getting supplies (batteries, sunscreen, electrolyte drinks) and double checking paperwork. I’m sorry that my blog posts are not more thorough, with photos and links, but I’m just a little too busy and tired right now. Also, since I’m field director this week, I don’t really have time to live blog, although I have tweeted a couple of times (https://twitter.com/#!/archaeocore).

May 31, 2011

Fannin Battle Ground Day 5

Filed under: archaeology — Tags: , , , , , — John @ 5:09 pm

Just a quick update today since I’m really tired and going to get some food soon. Even on a travel day, the heat just sucks all the energy out of me.
We’re back for another week, and feeling a time crunch. The back part of the park, which has several picnic tables and may have once been a camping area, is now finished with the metal detector survey. Only 700 hits to investigate! That’s a solid two days of work for the entire crew at a good pace, and it’s almost all likely modern trash.
We also detected the northwest corner of the park, near the “hot spot.” Much lower density of hits there, only 215 across a 60 x 100 m area. Might be able to get that in a day. Also, hoping to find some more battle related items there.
Today we had a volunteer “detectorist” come out to help us. He is a Texas Revolution buff, and really knew a ton about the artifacts. He also had a very fancy detector and a lot of experience on Revolution battlefields, all legitimate volunteer work through archaeological societies and state agencies. He had a lot of respect for archaeology and context, and made it a point to try and uncover things in situ. He resurveyed the “hot spot” and found at least a couple dozen more things that we missed, including a very cool copper or brass button from a uniform.
Tomorrow, we’ll be excavating the hits in Block 5, the other high probability area. I think we’ll have another volunteer helping out.
Sorry I couldn’t be more descriptive about the day!

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